Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Foule Ole Gron And Weak Eldar Stomachs

Following two previous skirmishes involving the disgusting minions of Nurgle, Farseer Gelladrill was once more forced to intercede on a minor Imperial planet, in High Gothic it was known as Triumphant Fanfare or something similar but in the common vernacular of the locals it was something far less inspirational. The planet itself was a small if somewhat heavily industrialized place filled with surly humans choking on the highly polluted atmosphere crushed by the monotonous drudgery of their short brutal lives. It made them ripe for the ruinous powers to subvert them. A cult had formed, dedicated to the Lord of Pestilence, and their saviors had landed. A small force of Death Guard marines led by a hideous Daemon Prince named Festerpuke . The rancid second in command; Foule Ole Gron had quickly attacked the main PDF garrison overwhelming them. Advancing into the main plaza of Gorgonplatz to consolidate was where the Ulthwe force met them. Failure here would mean disaster in the future for the Craftworld. Gelladrill vowed that would not happen!

Greetings. It's time for another 40K battle report. This time it is between the Eldar of Ulthwe led by myself and the odious followers of Nurgle, ably commanded by Pat in the form of the Death Guard. The game was 1500 points and the mission was Cleanse & Capture from the Maelstrom of War.

If context is needed for the battle with regard to the Scargill Cleansing, Triumphant Fanfare is a planet in a system adjoining the Scargill Sector. The minions of Nurgle have monitored the various troop movements heading towards Scargill itself and have chosen to seize the opportunity and take control of the planet. The Seer Council of Ulthwe foresaw this and took preemptive measures to ensure Triumphant Fanfare in high gothic or Crapwind in the local dialect was not to become a plague planet.

The Armies

My Eldar force consisted of the following;
Farseer Gelladrill; Executioner,Doom, Smite.
Warlock Kethamaine; Empower/Enervate, Smite.
10 Dire Avengers
10 Guardians,
!0 Rangers,
10 Banshees with Exarch
6 Windriders.
10 Swooping Hawks.
8 Dark Reapers.
2 Wave Serpents.

Pat's Scrofulous group
Daemon Prince (who I named Festerpuke)
Lord of Contagion (Foule Ole Gron)
Lord of Contagion (unnamed)
Malignant Plaguecaster (also unnamed)
4 squads of 5 Death Guard marines with blight launchers and probably other things.
2 squads of cultists.
3 Foetid Bloat drones.

After we set up I won the roll for going first so my generally going first streak was maintained. Pat had spread his cultists in two wide single file screens to thwart any deepstriking attempts but as the new Big FAQ 2018 has dropped, that sort of thing is now unnecessary. Amusingly my own set up left a big gap in the centre of the table so I had to use the Phantasm strategem to move my Windriders into a position to stop some equally dodgy stuff happening to me.

3 bloat Drones 4 units of Death Guard traitor marines and 2 units of 10 cultists can be seen. A daemon Prince hides behind the Bloat Drones and there is a Nurgle character in there too. Below 10 Guardians a D Cannon and Farseer take cover behind the crater and 8 Dark Reapers squeeze into a much smaller crater on the left. 

To the right of the Guardians is my Wave Serpent filled to the brim with Howling Banshees and a Warlock. 

The Windriders and second Wave Serpent containing Dire Avengers are over here. 

I used the Phantasm stratagem as I realised there was a gaping hole in my centre and Pat had some deepstriking Terminator marines or something like that.

The newly repositioned Windriders means that if Pat goes first I don't have some very hard to kill Nurgle characters hanging around my nether regions like infected hemorrhoids.
We drew our first mission cards and fortune smiled down Ulthwe. Two objectives 4 and 6 needed to be held for two turns and both were on my side of the table so they should be handy to grab and hold. I say grab, I was pretty much deployed with both objectives within Aeldari spitting distance. As  most senior xenobiologists know Aeldari don't really spit, just eject colourful plumes of scented saliva, so those objectives were as good as mine!

As luck would have it, I had both objective 4 and 6 so keeping them for 2 turns would get me 4 V.P,s. 

Pat's objectives in turn one are thus.
Firstly I rolled for the Ulthwe warlord trait Fate Reader and got the 6 to bump up my command points. YAY! In my turn there was little movement from me reasoning that most Death Guard weapons are pretty short ranged. Two errors I made was not moving either the Windriders and Banshee containing Wave Serpent, basically keeping them out of range of the enemy. The same was true of the D-Cannon. Another cock up was the Farseer, once I went to the psychic phase I remembered just how short ranged the powers were. I targeted two units mainly, Bloat Drones from my heavy weapons on the left and Swooping Hawks vs cultists on the left. The Hawks landed near an objective just in case Pat intended going for it. The Dark Reapers and Wave Serpent destroyed a Drone and knocked the piss out of another one. First blood to the Aeldari.

As most 40K heroes do, the Daemon Prince skulks around near the back hoping to look inconspicuous and not attract the attention of some eagle eyed Eldar. Pat has cinematically lain a Bloat Drone on it's side to denote it demise.

My Swooping Hawks descend, shoot up the unit of cultists (not pictured because they're dead) and gain me the First Blood VP. Also pictured is Pat's rather fancy dice rolling tray. He brought two so I didn't feel marginalised.
Another Fate Reader roll another 6! In Pat's first turn he deepstruck (at least that what I think the verb is) his Terminator characters in, one in the Bastion in the centre and the other into the building 9" away from the Dire avengers on the left. He also spent a lot of effort shooting at my Dark Reapers, because they were huddled in a crater they got the +1 to their saves but despite this I have developed a healthy dislike of Blight Launchers. After a rerolling like hell shooting phase my Windriders and Dark Reapers were depleted and the D-cannon was gone. Pat failed a charge with his.......I'm going to say Spoxious Nadslapper as I'm not an expert on all the Death Guard titles, but I do know he was probably wearing Terminator armour. The overwatch took two wounds of him I think as Dire Avengers are pretty nifty in that regard.

After scouring the right flank of cultists I tried a sort of pincer movement with the Wave Serpent, Windriders and Swooping Hawks. I say pincer movement but as the left flank remained pretty static it was more like a disabled crab attack where it's main disability is it's lack of opposable pincers, but that doesn't really roll off the tongue so perhaps a right hook? The Rangers and Dire Avengers were sitting on objectives 4 and 6 so to get the VPs they needed to not get kicked off them in my turn. My Farseer was proving pretty inept by failing Doom and Executioner. Shooting killed the Terminator guy who was threatening the Dire Avengers, and a second Bloat Drone was banjaxed by the Reapers and Wave Serpent. Some of the pus encrusted marines were killed by shuriken and beautifully coloured lasfire from the right.

One of the bloat Drones is gone, as are 5 Dark Reapers. My D-cannon is also gone. I was rather disappointed that Pat targeted it as the plan was for it to destroy the shit out of all the Death Guard. You will notice Foule Ole Gron in the bastion, he has an important role to play in this battle, hence him being named in the title.

Now you see a Terminator Captain and a damaged Bloat Drone.....

And now you don't.

The Terminator in the Bastion is not visible but he is about to unleash flatulent hell!
Then Pat's repugnant plan became apparent. He had teleported/deepstruck/webwayed/swooped or any of another 3 dozen names of things that amount to the same thing to get in position to claim the lives of good honest Eldar. The terribly brave Daemon Prince moved towards the Wave Serpent. He moved up with his centrally positioned Poopflinger in Terminator armour and played the pickled eggs and out of date pate stratagem, otherwise known as Nurgle's Rot. A 14" cloud of Labrador farts erupted and caused bouts of projectile vomit on the Guardians, Windriders and  Farseer. A combination of shooting, rerolling ones and 4+s to cause d3 mortal wounds saw the end of the Windriders, Guardians and left a nervous Farseer on two wounds. This turn saw the decimation of my Swooping Hawks due to a combination of accurate Plague Marine shooting and woeful saving throw rolling. The Daemon Prince assaults the Wave Serpent taking a several wounds from it.

The lack of Swooping Hawks in this picture is testament to efficient Death guard shooting.

Gelladrill the Farseer is double teamed but two icky Nurgle units. The Daemon Prince assaults the Wave Serpent.
At the end of turn two here was the scores on the doors. My score is n the left and I have a very healthy number of command points, mainly due to Gelladrill reading fate like a motherfucker.

The time was getting on so we agreed this would be the last turn. I had another cunning plan. The Wave Serpent would drop off the Warlock and Banshees, it would scoot round the back to gain the linebreaker VP, the Warlock would cast Empower on the Banshees the Farseer would Doom the DP while slipping out of the clutches of the last remaining Drone and Foule Ole Gron, the other Wave Serpent and Rangers would wipe out the aforementioned Foul Ole Gron. The Dire Avengers would wipe out the cultists and the last remaining Dark Reapers would shoot down and destroy the Drone clearing my side of the table and generally making me look like a tactical genius. It didn't really work out like that though. The movement went fine and then the Psychic phase went tits up. All powers failed so the DP remained unDoomed the Banshees were unEmpowered. I also unExecutionered some Plague Marines for good measure. This left some Banshees having to take on the Deamon Prince au naturel as the Warlock had already jumped down onto objective 3 as I had the defend objective 3 tactical objective card. Apologies for the number of objectives in the last sentence. So my shooting phase was adequate, killing several marines, wiping out the cultists and putting a wound of the Daemon Prince. The Banshees gamely charged in hoping that enthusiasm and a -3 saving throw modifier would win the day. It didn't, and the only thing that helped was the Exarch's war shout ability giving the DP a -1 to hit in the fight phase.

The Wave Serpent buggers off fully expected the Banshees to open a can of Whupass on the Daemon Prince.

The Wave Serpent attempts to look like a bigger threat than the Farseer. This pathetic ruse was not bought by Pat.

The Dire Avengers and Dark Reapers move forward it what was to prove a move of dubious tactical perspicacity. The cultists are gone having felt the jasmine scented shuriken to the face.
Pat moved his Death Guard marines forward and wiped out the Dark Reapers I had foolishly advanced to contest tactical objective 2. In other news the Drone killed a few more Rangers then it and Foule Ole Gron double teamed the Farseer, Gelladrill. In the assault phase the Farseer carked it but the Banshees were not wiped out so a moral victory for them. What I had left on the table was the Dire Avengers, some Banshees, some Rangers and both Wave Serpents and the Warlock sitting on objective 3. Nurglewise, the DP was still there, Foule Ole Gron, a Drone (possibly damaged), 3 squads of depleted Plague Marines.
The Banshees fighting the Daemon Prince are pretty pissed off Doom was unsuccessfully cast. The Warlock behind them is also in their bad books due to his ineptitude.

My tactical objectives at the start of turn 3. None were achieved, sadly in my wargaming fugue I failed to make notes of Pat's. 
The final score. The turn number is I think wrong but the scores are right.

Back In Ulthwe's Garden Of Reflection

Well that was a fun game. final score 7-5 so a narrow victory. Had we played another turn I'm not sure how it would've went. I had a Warlock on and objective so were he to keep it for another turn it would've been another 2 VP's, of course Pat would have probably gained a few too so who knows what would've happened. I wasted the Windriders, they should've been attacking the flanks from the first turn but hindsight is a wonderful thing. The Fate Reader warlord ability gave me at least 4 extra command points which is way above the norm (hopefully that will become a regular thing). A catastrophic psychic failure in turn 3 caused I believe by the residual aftershocks of Foule Ole Gron flatulence really made the killing of the enemy commander an uphill battle when I may have been able to sneak the Kingslayer VP. One thing that did impress me was Pat's reroll carnival due the the large aura bubbles that Nurgle characters give. I really must start using that sort of thing more. All in all a very enjoyable game that with another turn or two really could have seen very few models left on the table!

In terms of the narrative and the greater Scargill Sector Cleansing malarkey, Crapwind is safe for now as an astropath message was sent to the Imperial Navy of Skutch and reinforcements are on route. Festerpuke and Foule Ole Gron have vowed revenge on the people of Ulthwe.

Warlock Kethamaine himself had carried the severely injured Farseer Gelladrill back through the webway portal back into Ulthwe's main healing dome. The battle had been fierce but the Aeldari could not content with noxious gas that erupted from the follower of Nurgle. The Daemon was still at large but the enemy force had been severely depleted. All the cultists were dead and the humans now had enough time to mount an organised defence. The cost had been high in Aeldari lives but all the dead were saved and ready to join their brethren in the infinity circuit. Kethamaine had a feeling that it was not the last he would see of Foule Ole Gron........

Thanks for reading.

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